Aquascaping, the journey begin...

0 comments / Posted on by Adam Zulfikar

Florestas submersas by takashi amano

            Aquascape is craft work, it’s an art, and it’s a quest. Aquarium hobby grows from a simple fish tank turned into complex natural ecosystem tank. Started as fishkeeping and then became how to make it more. As human we desire to be surrounded with nature. We learn from it, moulded by it. For every aquascaper, achieving balance between nature and rectangular glass called aquarium is a quest.
            Aquascaping involves many basics principles of design, underwater biology and then apply it into an aquarium. Designing an aquascaping can be quite challenging, browsing for aquascape build is good to help you decide which style is great for you. Aquascape can be built create calm ambience and reducing people stress level, placing nature style aquascape at hospitals or recreational area for example.
            Before we go deeper into aquascaping, there is important elements to learn when setting up an aquascape. Nature aquarium style have since become popular for newbies, because of its simplicity and low maintenance possibility. Using easy to keep plants like ferns, anubias, mosses and abundance variety of cryptocorine can be stunning.
low tech anubias tank
A garden of Anubias with a low tech setup.


"A layout that is crafted with overly great finesse is tiring to look at, and it is also difficult to maintain over a long period of time...It is important to provide an unpretentious, casual atmosphere of water and greenery. The very atmosphere creates the harmony between the surrounding space and the aquarium." - Takashi Amano 



         For aquascape to thrive, it will need 5 elements to be balanced. Your flora and fauna will be deteriorate overtime if the balance is broken.
  1. Lighting
         Aquarium lighting is important to recreate sunlight.  In nature, plants use sunlight to produce food with photosynthesis. Plants use organic matter, CO2 and light to produce food for themselves and also release oxygen into aquascape ecosystem that needed by fish and shrimps.
         LED light system is widely use nowdays, but it doesn’t have to be LED. There is few alternatives for lighting setup. Depending on how the aquascape desired, using the correct type of lighting setup is crucial. Using low intensity light setup on deep aquarium will cause the plants deficiency.
  1. Nutrients 
         All plants need set of elements to grow, one of them is the availability of nutrients. Normally, our tap water contained some of it. Fish waste also contribute to nutrients availability inside the aquascape ecosystem. As first thermodynamics law principle, these nutrients is the potential energy available to be change its shape becoming oxygen or plant growth.
         Overtime, nutrients become scarce and plant will be deteriorating. Adding continuous dose of fertilizer into the ecosystem will help your aquascape last longer.
  1. CO2 
         Every fauna including humans need oxygen from the environment. Plants need carbon dioxide to progress on photosynthesis process, it will produce necessary oxygen for every living fauna and bacteria inside the ecosystem. Optimal level of dissolved CO2 in the water is the biggest impact on successful aquascape. Most of living things on earth were made of carbons. Some aquatic plant still thriving even though there is low concentration of CO2 in the ecosystem.
  1. Filtration 
         Filtration system also has big role on closed environment like aquascape. It will provide most of the bio degrading process and provide some water recycling. The current provided by filtration devices also affect the plants growth and our fauna health. Correct water flow helps plant with the nutrient and CO2 exchange.
  1. Bio load 
         Most newbies usually forgot this parameter. Adding too much fish or another fauna into the aquascape setup will shake the ecosystem balance. Fauna feses will increase ammonia level that can be poisonous for themselves and the ecosystem. Too much bio load also promote algae growth.


               “ if you want to mimic great sense of nature on your aquascape, you have to spend your time to see, enjoy and understand the nature itself. Go to the jungle, the riverside, or any natural environment” – Heri amir , international aquascape champion.
              Aquascape is a product from people imagination and knowledge. Inspiration can come from existing aquascape build, natural environment and sometimes our own imagination. There is no shortcut, patience and determination is required. 
Rainforest used to be the most inspiring natural landscape. Many scaper use different approach to recreate the natural feeling into aquascape. Have you got any idea where to spend your weekend now ? go out… and get inspired…

 Hope this article provide the needed knowledge for your aquascaping journey. Feel free to discuss at our social media. You can continue to chose suitable path for you on aquascaping here.


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